It's easy to lose track of time in the helter-skelter video game industry, with games and exciting new projects that are merely months old already being so yesterday. We want the latest, hottest new games and announcements ten minutes ago, so stop telling us about old stuff, ok?
For Nintendo gamers, the frustration in satisfying these cravings for news was sometimes hard to avoid in past-times, as the company itself would remain tight-lipped outside of the occasional press release or appearance at a major event. It led to a particular frenzy when a certain annual expo would roll around in Los Angeles, and attention-starved Nintendo gamers would grab whatever Nintendo threw at them, relieved to hear about new games on the way in the next 12 months or, in some cases, within weeks of the presentation.
When it came to utilising the most powerful and vast information medium, the internet, Nintendo did seem way behind the times. In an effort to resolve this, and after an initial broadcast that intrigued rather than set the world alight, the big N went big with its first substantial multi-region Nintendo Direct blow-out in February 2012, on the same day that PlayStation launched its Vita handheld in North America and Europe. It was the start of a new brand of online communication that was, in many respects, not exactly typical of the company. We were treated to footage and details for a host of high-profile 3DS games, while messages via Swapnote/Nintendo Letter Box were joined by long overdue Twitter accounts for Nintendo UK and Nintendo of Europe.
It was rather new, intriguing and exciting for many at the time, and there was an extra degree of novelty in the fact that Nintendo's most senior figures were presenting these broadcasts, not glossy professional actors. The concept is evidently simple, and all in the name and now famous hand gesture — it's Nintendo speaking directly to you.
Of course, websites such as this and readers respond well to these broadcasts, because it's overseen a dramatic shift towards greater communication from Nintendo. It has also brought regular doses of mini E3-itis, with information overload and excitement quickly becoming par for the course; the initial spate of broadcasts coincided with a major 2012 software push on 3DS, confirmation of 3DS XL and the arrival of Wii U. Every broadcast seemed to either show us more eagerly anticipated games, or give us tantalising glimpses of the previously unknown. There's also been wonderful scripting and a playful willingness to include humour and meme-friendly images. You just mention the words "Non-Specific Action Figure" or "Satoru Iwata holding a banana", and imagery that's borderline iconic among Nintendo gamers springs to mind.
The initial burst of broadcasts enjoyed a perfect storm of attention starved gamers, E3 and a brand new home console; Nintendo was never exactly short of big details to tease us with, on some occasions once every few weeks. With that burst of early excitement in the concept it's become easy for Nintendo gamers to suddenly expect Megaton announcements in every stream, perhaps forgetting the fact that Japanese specific videos, particularly "Mini Directs", have passed by with relatively few details or a focus on specific games. There have been Western equivalents of 15 minutes or less, yet generally the expectations have been set that they're merely cherries on the icing, so we avoided out-of-context hysterics.
Yet, when we know a broadcast is set to be longer, and promises details on games covering a decent period, many are currently pre-conditioned to immediately engage hype-mode, including us — to an extent — here at Nintendo Life. And so we came to last week's multi-region videos, which were announced — as is typical for Nintendo Direct broadcasts — at short notice and suggested details on a number of games. Minds may have drifted to other big Nintendo Directs in the year, and talk on social networks quickly shifted to what "surprises" Nintendo might unveil, with some expecting a surprise eShop game or perhaps something bigger. The recent comments from Reggie Fils-Aime that we hadn't seen everything for the Wii U launch window didn't help, and when the broadcast was finished there was a distinct sense of "wait, was that it?"
Fan predictions of possible surprises, even those of a more realistic nature (Zelda HD was never going to happen in that broadcast) fell short, with Zen Pinball 2 not necessarily pushing buttons in the same way as Bayonetta 2 before it. It didn't help that eagerly anticipated titles such as Pikmin 3 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf were pushed back, though others such as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Fire Emblem: Awakening were given more concrete release details. For many that had become accustomed to big details dominating headlines, release windows on games that were already very familiar didn't get the pulse racing.
Yet that's probably what we can expect in future Nintendo Direct broadcasts. That aforementioned perfect storm of a big 3DS push and Wii U hype may make way for less surprising information, as Nintendo will start to show us more details for games we already know are coming. There are sure to be some blockbuster moments, especially as Nintendo has told us practically nothing about any games coming outside of the Wii U launch window, but the routine may settle down. Unless a 3DS Mini or Nintendo phone is on the way in 2013 — no, they're not likely.
While disappointment in some reveals, or lack of, is understandable from the most recent Nintendo Direct broadcasts, we shouldn't forget the days before this initiative burst onto uStream in early 2012. At least now Nintendo is keeping us in the loop, and while not every "mini-E3" will blow our socks off, we should remember that Nintendo is at least talking to us, and giving us some humour and game footage to enjoy at the same time.
Keep an eye out on our upcoming feature looking at some of the best Nintendo Direct moments of 2012. Until then, let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
Make's perfect sense. There can't be an enormous surprise every time.
Nintendo Direct got off to a great start, but started getting more disappointing. They should be getting back on track in the new year.
The only thing is, why hold a Nintendo Direct when you're not going to tell us anything significant?
I like nintendo direct. A game company can't surprise those that keep up with videogame news daily, but its nice to have them communicate in this manner.
I always find it funny when gamers flip out when there is "nothing new" on the eshop. How many games can younreally buy and play? Try finishing games once in awhile,
These are basically commercials for games that have already been announced. It started out as kind of a mini E3 showing kind of thing, but quickly devolved. I'll continue to watch 'em probably, but I won't get my hopes up for anything big anymore.
@SonyFACE They usually do even if it is small
E3 and most DDs were a disappointment. I do understand that there cannot be some bomb everytime, then just don't hold so many DDs, especially not to tell us about games we already know. Nintendo should better invest in better advertisement of Wii U and further push 3DS.
I liked the new Direct because it finally gave me an update on new games that I havent heard from since E3.
If not at E3, and not in these Directs, then WHEN will Nintendo show off more Wii U games? It's not so much about us being insatiable, but about Nintendo not following precedence. Never has Nintendo held back on information for a systems software at launch as they have with Wii U. Buying new hardware is an investment, and while I'm confident there are some great games on the way, we've always been able to see a year or beyond that in the past. Nintendo has starved its fans of this information this time, for whatever reason, and its not unreasonable for us to be expecting to see these games sooner than later. It should be damn soon, although I know we likely won't see anything new until halfway through 2013. Unacceptable!
@Rapadash6: You have the entire first quarter of 2013 covered for the Wii U. There's nothing "unacceptable" about that, unless you're palpably insatiable.
No, that is unacceptable. For Wii, we knew of Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3 and Super Paper Mario right away, and those games didn't come out until later the in the year following the systems release. Same thing with the Gamecube; Mario Sunshine, Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Star Fox Adventures... they didn't keep those games hidden from us, and many bought it on the promise of those titles alone. With Wii U, we have Mario and Pikmin... solid games, yeah, but not enough to sell everyone on the console. We know Zelda and Metroid and 3D Mario are on the way, but why keep them a secret from us now? It doesn't surprise me that Wii U isn't grabbing people beyond the core Nintendo fans right now, because Nintendo has given them no reason to take notice, period.
@Rapadash6 Gonna have to agree with you here 100%. As much as NSMBU was a "launch title", let's be honest here, and yes, Twilight Princess was more a port than an actual launch title, but I'd prefer that than what is offered on the table right now from Nintendo. And Gamecube AT LEAST followed up the launch with Melee which was about 1 month following launch. Excuse me here, but what do we have "promised" so far? Pikmin in probably summer of 2013?? Not ok.
Frankly, the third party support better be relishing in this limelight it has now. Lego city looks...ok. Not really my thing, but to at least have something worth playing on THIS system for its capabilities, I'm not sure where else to look. And yes, Nintendo Land was cool too, but how many times can we really play all these mini games?
Set your hopes lower, like I do, and you may get some pleasant surprises. From my point of view, Fire Emblem is coming in February, we're getting Harmoknight, and there's a weird game where we throw people at other people. I thought that alone was a fair amount of good news!
@Rapadash6: They need to have their work cut out for them at E3, otherwise we'll see a repetition of the Wii's mid-life dearth. The longevity of a console depends on how well it manages to build a sustainable library that extends over a long period of time. The very argument you just brought up is the reason both the Wii and GameCube endured a premature death. That is what is unacceptable.
The launch line-up is clearly only a stop-gap for what we have to come, and so far, it's fulfilling its purpose well. They're not going to blow all the announcements they will need to stay relevant during the coming season just because you don't like what they have right now. That's not how business works, and it never will be.
Oh and they "promised" wiiTvii or whatever. Where the ef is that? That should have DEFINITELY been on the Nintendo Direct.
I'm gonna put it straight here - this system has amazing capabilities. No doubt it will blow my mind when it gets put to use. Problem is, Nintendo has not given us even an inkling on what we can expect after paying upwards of $300. Is it for Pikmin 3? Honestly, that game better be amazing if I'm waiting for what I envisioned it as a launch title game AND if it's all Nintendo has to offer through 2013 up to spring/summer of 2014.
@GameLord08 - The Wii had a pretty decent lineup for sure. I don't know if I remember waiting on titles though. And that was possibly the downfall was how they released them. But what Rapadash6 (any myself included) is concerned about is the total lack of communication between Nintendo and the consumer on the future of what they will bring that will knock our socks off. We're left in the dark and that's unsettling.
So ok, behind the scenes we have a Smash Bros. being developed for Wii U and 3DS. They can't shed any type of light on that in any way? Or how about Retro Studios? Like what Rapadash says, this console for us gamers is an investment, but right now the investment looks...well, empty. Empty with blank promises. We all "know" a Zelda is coming. That a Mario is coming. It sure would be great to know my investment is safe with some evidence. sigh
Who says I don't like what they have right now? I actually feel this is Nintendo's most diverse launch line-up, like, ever. The problem isn't the current library though, but the unknown beyond that. If Nintendo remains tight lipped, say, until E3, then we have the problem of not knowing what's on the way the two or three months before that and after we've all finish playing Pikmin 3. Not the lack of software within those specific months, mind you, but the uncertainty of anything in the future at all. Many will undoubtably dump their new consoles in lieu of greener pastures, some may just let thier systems collect dust indefinately and no longer pay attention to Nintendo's releases, even when new stuff is finally announced. It's about keeping people excited about the Wii U, and Nintendo has failed miserably at doing that thus far.
I would also have to disagree with you on the claim that is was Nintendo's openess to future software that caused the famous late 2008 lull within Wii's lifecycle. It would've happened regardless because all the games we knew about were already released. In fact, I would argue it was Nintendo's holding the cards to close mentality that actually made that time worse for Nintendo fans. Perhaps E3 2008 would've been better had they announced Punch-Out!! and Sin and Punishment in that presentation too. Even if those games weren't coming out until the following year, they would've comforted a many Nintendo fan to know that they were on the way.
They didn't lie about nintendoTVii they said Dec, last I checked it's dec 11th
Same thing with last years ambassador games people kept B******* about they said by years end, and we got them about the 16th of DEC which if I recall is YEARS END
@Rapadash6: First of all, I didn't say it was Nintendo's "openness to future software" that caused the Wii's dearth. I said it was their unpaced strategy. And secondly, I didn't say you in particular didn't like what the launch line-up offered - I was being indirect.
Look, Nintendo doesn't want the entire lifetime sales of the Wii U to occur now. They'll need sales in future, and that's that. If you don't feel it's a good investment, don't buy it. If you feel this promises are "blank promises", then don't buy it. Then be pleasantly surprised in 2013, and sustain Nintendo's profitability further over that season.
Not everybody needs to be interested in the Wii U all at once. They're doing reasonably well with their sales as it is (exceptionally well, actually), and all they need to do now is focus on maintaining the console's vitality over time. Spoiling all the surprises doesn't help that, so with all due respect, if you don't like it, lump it.
We do need more generic super hero action figure. Why he hasn't made a return appearance is ludicrous I tell you!
And I don't expect the world on Nintendo Direct, just give us some release dates and a new game, and I'm a happy camper.
Most of the time I skip these little Nintendo Direct thingies... if the Mayan calendar doesn't come to life and crushes us all in 10 days... man, I'll be looking forward to the next E3... how I'm hoping to see some Metroid and Starfox.............
Despite loving my Wii U, I just can't help but agree with @ Rapadash6 on this one!
Maybe I'm being too harsh with Nintendo and they are thinking on the long term but that's how I feel after watching this Nintendo direct.
Good news is that somebody at Nintendo US at least was trying to quell expectations a bit with the last Nintendo direct by saying it was more info about titles we already knew about through Facebook.
Why would Nintendo make a big Nintendo Direct reveal right now? There's plenty to talk about and hype that people don't own or hasn't been released yet. On top of that, if this console is going to get legs it will be as people visit families during the holidays and start getting to grips with it in person. The new jump start from fresh game announcements probably won't happen until March or so, realistically. Time to relax and play some current games.
Also, If there is a BIG title that might be ready by the end of 2013 none of us will hear or see anything official until E3, I think. Nintendo needs to hold onto SOMETHING to combat the new console news.
I never watch them with huge expectations; I watch them because whatever it is they discuss, odds are I don't know about it. Anything new is good to me. We should be thankful they decided to do this at all. When I was younger, Nintendo was very tight lipped, and you were lucky to know anything. Nintendo Power's Game and Watch Forecast was as good as you could get back then.
I wanted news about the rumoured Yoshi game
Nintendo can't announce its major titles in development for after the launch window now. We all expect Sony and Microsoft to announce new hardware next year. Most likely at E3. Nintendo needs some big announcements then to grab some hype back. Sony and Microsoft announce their hardware. Nintendo responds here's the next 3d Mario title, Zelda looks like this and Mario Kart is coming.
Is the Nintendo channel having any more updates? Because I would like to keep track of new games. Especially any upcoming Metroid or Zelda games. A new Mario 3D title would be good to. If Nintendo isn't updating the Nintendo Channel on the Wii, will the updates be on the Wii U's wii menu?
I keep seeing LEGO iwata everywhere... can i acutally buy that somewhere? that would be awesome!!
Just because you don't think anything is significant in a Nintendo Direct doesn't mean that it was a waste of time. Heck, we got a release date for Fire Emblem and a few new eShop announcements (yay Harmoknight) in the last one.
I want the grand return of SpaceWorld!
I love Nintendo Directs! They give me small doses of (sometimes) major hype more often!
Although I do LOVE the hype and news blowout of the yearly E3 to look forward to, Nintendo Directs stop me from getting impatient year round.
You know, maybe JUST maybe, nintendo is spending all their time perfecting their new games for us that they want our reaction to be the highest factor of WHAT THE !!!!!! (In a good way) possible. Once they are released youll thank them.
Every Nintendo Direct showed news and announcements never heard before anywhere else, so everything's alright for me.
Some people here are really upsetting, brainless and greedy. They don't seem to get the point. Go make your own systems and games please.
At E3 this year, Microsoft for sure, and maybe Sony, will be showing new hardware. Why would Nintendo show all their cards now (Zelda, Star Fox, Metroid, etc) then show up to E3 with nothing to reveal?
It's funny watching goofs on here rip on Nintendo when it's obvious they have no business sense themselves.
@SKTTR & AbeVigoda
Congratulations to you both for feeling that way. Me and Rapadash6 perhaps feel paying $300-400 for a console to sit around for 6 months to play something worth while by Nintendo is a little bit ridiculous. But shame on us for feeling a little jaded. Stop sounding like such snooty douches.
Brainless and greedy, please. Sorry if I feel there should be a bone thrown to us once in a while. Get off your high horse and stop defending a (greedy) company yourself. And it's fine if Nintendo is greedy - they're in the business to be just that. But you're kidding yourself if you didn't feel an ounce disappointed by hearing that Pikmin 3 got delayed. I've been following Ninty since the '80s and as far as launches go, they've had better. I know it, you know it.
Name-calling and defending myself aside, YES, I do also believe that they will announce something worthwhile at E3 (cough July 2013 cough). BUT, I've been here before anticipating something huge to counter Microsoft, Sony, etc. and have had the same results saying "that's it?". I hope, however that I am horribly wrong.
I love Nintendo Direct.
Come on, guys, let's drop the name-calling and general nastiness to one another, please. We can discuss this article without getting personal :3
We all know those games are on the way, so there's no need for Nintendo to show them to us now, then leaving them nothing to reveal to combat the debuts of new systems at E3. It's unfortunate you had to rant like a baby when it's obvious you have no understanding of how business works. Why you think a game company should be required to show you games coming out in 1-2 years within the first month of the systems release boggles the mind....
And yes, you are 'horribly wrong' hahaha
@HarmoKnight But they haven't always been truthful. I still remembering them say that the eshop would launch in May 2011 but it was actually JUNE!! Ya I know it's not much of a delay but it bothered me at the time. Same thing with Q1 titles like Pikmin 3 getting delayed until Q2.
How am I horribly wrong about E3? It hasn't taken place yet. You may eat those words. Nintendo has fallen into a lapse of taking easier routes this generation and it's getting a little old. When I think of Wii, it screams casual - and I still have a large library of its games. Ranting as a baby or displaying my displeasure are one in the same and I of course prefer the latter. Lol.
Sorry if I offended earlier. I think my main concern was the delay on pikmin 3 which first started as a near launch title. If that hadn't been announced in this direct I wouldn't have been so vocal.
@rubbernec320 It's not necessarily "truthful" as plans can change in the long run. If eShop wasn't ready in May then why launch it.
As Miyamoto would say: "A delayed good game is a good game. A bad game is still a bad game." (Or something like that)
Yeah that mankes sense. Sorry Nintendo for my over-expectations of your Nintendo Direct presentations Guess I'll just be happy to see a new presentation when they come up, whatever the content.
Im loving Nintendo Direct, its showing that nintendo actually care about their consumers, i mean, i would love to see a new zelda, mario, metroid, etc... in every ND but it cannot be, you have to do it from time to time...
@Spartacus3765 "I think my main concern was the delay on pikmin 3 which first started as a near launch title" then you, my friend, youre the only one that thinks that Pikmin 3 was going to be a console launch window game...
In fact... what company doesnt delay their games ? i preffer a delayed game than a bad one...
Excuse me, launch window game. Jeez, anyways, I think I already heard that they delayed it and possibly the others for 3rd parties to get attention. Am I just crazy feeling a bit empty handed at launch from Nintendo? Wii - Twilight Princess (full fledged Zelda title) GameCube - Luigis mansion and Melee one month later. N64 - Super Mario 64. I'm sorry, but NSMBU+Nintendo Land isn't on par with those. Let's be real fellas. This system has loads of potential. I'm stoked like anybody else, but they don't make articles like "Nintendo is being more and more tight lipped" for any old reason these days. It's become more prevalent with even the weirdest announcements they ever make. Bottom line, not the craziest fan of this launch. All that matters is the end result, and I fully believe in this company. They've just been making real questionable decisions (Wii mini, really?)
@LZBirdboi well I was thinking in a sense of whether they hold to their word or not instead of how fickle they are. But I see your point and especially Miyamoto's. I think it went "A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever." That's one of my favorite Miyamoto quotes.
I have enjoyed every Nintendo Direct so far. I get super hyped and they always make it entertaining. For me its more of seeing my favorite Nintendo execs discussing new games and such. Especially when they do their little acts. Seeing Iwata in LEGO form made my entire week! That right there cheered me up and kept me smiling for at least the next two days.
Am I the only one that thinks the host's performances are mindblowin laughable? Ist hard to understand them, there is no real humour although they tryin hard. Are they trying to evoke the Steve Jobs factor? I'm sorry but broken english and timid performances are not always charming.
Just gimme a Nintendo channel and let me choose which News i want to see.
i think it isnt so much that us gamers expect a ton is the fact that it seems to be a repeat of what we already know and it gets kinda annoying or they can be too cheesy at times
if they were to right away show maybe a bit more of that something new that they have to tell us and less of the repeat or maybe say hey we got more demos for you to try or more release dates soon it be good
I never expect big announcements. What I have come to expect, though, are release date confirmation. Aside from Brain Age and Fire Emblem, in America at least, there weren't any dates mentioned except from that Q1 2013 BS.
the hope dies at last..
I will always be hoping for a big annoncement when they confirm a nintendo direct, it' my nature.
I understand that they can't hit us with huge surprises every time, but my problem is that when you think about it, when was the last time they hit us with ANY huge surprises? Bayonetta 2 was kind of cool, but not something I personally cared about in the least. Pikmin 3 was in the works for so long it mostly got a "finally!" reaction from me. Before the 3DS came out they revealed a big slew of new games, and they've been riding off the same games for years. Every E3 and every Nintendo Direct I keep thinking, "Okay, what's next?" and they don't give us a thing. They just keep pushing back the dates to spread out their releases. They revealed the Wii U and I've been thinking, "Okay, what can we expect?" And you know what we can expect? Not much. Pikmin 3, but again, that's old news. Nintendoland is fun, the recent NSMB games are solid, but where's the next big thing? I've got the system IN MY HANDS and I still don't have my sights set on anything in particular! I'm used to at least one big announcement per year, and I haven't gotten one in several.
And that's MY problem with these Nintendo Directs. Anybody else feeling starved for new games?
I like Nintendo Direct,yeah you might not get massive reveals,but it's good series that gives you a little update on various games.
And obvious the best this about Nintendo Direct is Shibata.
Here, have a cream doughnut. You're my new favourite person.
Nintendo will always announce stuff when they are sure they have it. Makes sense.
I agree, what a huge waste of time.
I gave up caring what Nintendo say in their own press conferences when I realised they care a hell of a lot more about informing their handheld customers than the others.
@LZBirdboi "A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever."
Anyway, I'm fine with this, I'm actually glad we just got a recap because I've been so busy the past few months I haven't even been keeping up with the release dates. "We can't expect something big and unexpected every time" is exactly what I thought after seeing the ND reactions.
At first Nintendo Directs got me excited. A good session of brand new news that was interesting. Now all we have is a long presentation summarising what we already know, with one or two little surprises - not enough to make watching it worth it.
@brandonbwii That's kind of what I was hoping for; It obviously isn't right to expect some 'fanboy foaming' announcements every single time, but it does seem a bit pointless to announce already known things along the lines of 'like we've said time and time before, it'll be released Q1/2/3' as an example. I'm more looking for specific dates when it comes to subjects like that.
Ah well, at least excited to know RH:HK is being brought to the western hemisphere.
I thought the last Direct was excellent. runs
Seriously. I know they didn't announce a new Zelda/Mario/whatever but they're in the works anyway. They would detract from any smaller titles on their way beforehand, and there's lots of excellent smaller things coming and/or here. As a way of getting gameplay clips to people who don't necessarily scour the web for vids and trailers, Direct is fine. I watched it in bed the other morning. It wasn't scintillating but it kept my attention for 40 mins and gave me a decent look at some new titles. Fire Emblem and Luigi's Mansion look fantastic. Animal Crossing slipping=bummer, but if it needs a month or two for localisation, go for it. There're loads of smaller eShop games like Picross and BitTrip to soak up. As for Wii U I think people are forgetting how abysmal console launches usually are! Everyone blathers on about needing a Mario 64 at launch - EVERY console needs a Mario 64 at launch! The N64 was the exception because it actually got it. Looking at the spread of quality, quantity and variety available, the Wii U arguably has the finest launch lineup since 1996. Not a Ridge Racer in sight.
Maybe Sony's DNR for Vita is making 3DS look good, but I feel genuinely positive about the 3DS. And it's all over when AC arrives. Life, I mean. In the meantime, I'll download the free copy of 3D Land when I upgrade to an XL at Xmas.
What's not to like?
I'm good with it. I have no prob with Nintendo execs staying in touch with me.
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